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SOME ASPECTS OF THE DESIGN OF BALANCED RECTIFIER MODULATORS FOR PRECISION APPLICATIONS

By D. G. TUCKER, Ph.D., Associate Member.


(The paper was first received 28th May, and in revised form 14th October, 1947.) SUMMARY The design of balanced rectifier modulators of ring and Cowan types is discussed, and it is shown how the performance of the modulator depends on rectifier characteristics, the circuit impedance in which the modulator operates, the resistance of the carrier generator and the carrier voltage. The main performance features discussed are efficiency, stability, production of unwanted modulation products, impedance, and carrier leak. It is shown that there are advantages in designing a modulator for maximum efficiency by choosing a circuit impedance of optimum value and a carrier supply of high resistance. Variations in efficiency due to variations in carrier voltage, circuit impedance and temperature are then a minimum although it may be necessary to have each rectifier shunted with a constant resistance to achieve this. The production of modulation products of higher order is greatest in a modulator of maximum efficiency in which the circuit providing the carrier is of high resistance, and is reduced considerably if inefficient working and a low-resistance circuit are used. Further reduction, if desired, can be obtained by the use of a large bias on the rectifiers, and it has been found possible to reduce the 3/ c ; / sidebands to over 26 db below the fc + f sidebands (where fc = carrier frequency and / = signal frequency). This method is of value only in ring modulators, as with the Cowan circuit it introduces products of the type 2/ c i /. It is shown that the ordinary potentiometer adjustment for carrier leak compensates only the unbalances between the low forward resistances of the rectifiers, and there remains an out-of-balance current at small values of the instantaneous carrier voltage. This effect can be reduced by using a high-resistance carrier supply and by appropriate selection of the rectifiers; a further improvement, in the case of ring modulators, can be obtained by the use of large biases on the rectifiers. Carrier leaks as low as 60 db relative to 1 volt in 600 ohms, or 40 db below sideband-level, when high-level signals are applied, can readily be obtained and maintained in modulators with at least 1 volt carrier peak voltage across the rectifiers. It is assumed throughout that the rectifiers are purely resistive, as with the diodes and crystal valves now available, the effect of the capacitance is negligible up to frequencies of the order of 1 Mc/s. A method of design of a ring modulator is described in which the input impedance remains relatively constant over the cycle of carrier voltage; this may have important applications in precision circuits.

tioned have been found very satisfactory. Moreover, since no serious attempt appears to have been made to develop a simple but accurate method of analysis and design, it must be concluded that the experimental basis of design which has been customary has given results adequate for the needs of the communication systems. In spite of the apparently satisfactory performance of the ring and Cowan modulators, there are many ways in which their performance can be improved, and in the main these involve little extra cost. The main application of these improved designs may be to precision measuring and laboratory equipment, the needs of which initiated the present investigation; but there is no doubt that communication systems generally would benefit by their use. It is proposed here to make an investigation of the performance of ring and Cowan modulators, chiefly from the points of view of (a) improved efficiency and stability, and (b) reduction in unwanted output components. As a background to this work, a selected list of published papers on modulator theory and design is given in References 2 to 7. Most of these have been discussed in a previous paper* on rectifiers and modulator theory, to which the present paper is closely related, and to which frequent reference will be made.
(2) THE MODULATING FUNCTION AS A BASIS OF ANALYSIS AND MEASUREMENT OF PERFORMANCE

In order to discuss the performance of modulators, it is useful to consider a factor which will be termed the "modulating function." This is the factor, designated <j>{t), by which the input signal is multiplied to give the output signal; it is evidently the reciprocal of the insertion loss of the modulator regarded as a time function, since the loss varies from instant to instant according to the instantaneous value of the carrier voltage. In the simplest conception of a ring modulator, for instance, where the rectifiers are regarded as switched instantaneously from high to low resistance and vice versa by the action of the .carrier voltage, the modulating function is a symmetrical rectangular wave which can be expressed in terms of a Fourier series as

(1) INTRODUCTION

where n is odd and <j>m is the maximum height of <f>(t) above the axis, cuc being the angular frequency of the carrier. It is clear that the harmonic components of this series give the relative amplitudes of the components of the output (modulated) Radio Section paper. Written contributions on papers published without being signal of the type nfc f, where fc is the carrier frequency and read at meetings are invited for consideration with a view to publication. / is the signal frequency. In a practical modulator, using Dr. Tucker is at the Post Office Research Station. rectifiers which do not switch suddenly from high to low re* Both the ring and Cowan modulators use four rectifiers; in the former they form a lattice 4-terminal network which (in its simplest conception) is "switched" sistance, the waveform of <j>{t) is more rounded,1 and the output by the carrier voltage so as to reverse the polarity of the signal to be modulated components of high order are relatively smaller in amplitude. every half-cycle of the carrier; in the latter the rectifiers bridge the main circuit, and are so arranged that on one half-cycle of carrier they partially short-circuit the main In the simplest conception of a Cowan modulator, where the signal, while on the other half-cycle they have little shunting effect. In both types of modulator the carrier voltage is applied longitudinally, so that ideally none leaks input signal is short-circuited on alternate half-cycles of the into the modulator output. In the ring modulator, the input signal frequency also does not appear in the output. carrier, the modulating function is a rectangular wave where the VOL. 95, PART III. [161 ] 11

The design of modulators for suppressed-carrier communication systems has not changed materially for many years, and the modulators used are almost exclusively of the "ring" and the Cowan (or "short-circuiting") types.* As the design of communication systems as a whole has progressed and altered considerably, the inference is that the two types of modulator men-

sin nct)ct n

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TUCKER: SOME ASPECTS OF THE DESIGN OF A2\ A sin nu) ,t n B'

amplitude is <f>m on one half-cycle and zero on the next. The Fourier series is thus

- - - " *\ Ai > where n is odd. The relative amplitudes of the nfc /products are thus the same as in the ring modulator. It can be seen that all information regarding the efficiency* of > the modulators is given by the modulating function, provided that the rectifiers can be regarded as non-reactive. Although it \ is not always practicable, it is generally possible to achieve this C' D condition with modern rectifiers, the range of which includes 0 + diode valves with a capacitance of only a few micro-microfarads V and crystal "valves" with a capacitance of only about | /*/xF. Fig. 2.Typical rectifier characteristic. It is desirable, as a general rule, to keep to the non-reactive conV = Voltage across rectifier. dition, as then the modulator has a constant efficiency over a r - A.C. resistance of rectifier. wide frequency-range. If the rectifier capacitance is such that it Logarithmic scale for r. cannot be neglected, then the analysis of the circuit becomes stant backward to constant forward resistance at zero applied almost impracticable, and its design must be empirical. voltage. Curve A BCD represents the exponential relationship,1 2 It should be noted that the modulating function can be 92V r = r 4k ~ , where r is the a.c. resistance in contrast 0 2 examined as a trace on a cathode-ray-tube by applying a small to R which is considered the d.c. resistance, and where rQ, k2 and d.c. voltage to the input of the modulator. The output from the modulator is then equal to a constant multiplied by <f>(t), q2 are constants for the a.c. characteristic of a particular rectifier. i.e. the waveform of the output is that of <f>(t). The waveform It will be seen that this last curve represents the rectifier characof $(/) cannot be observed by such a direct method if the teristic quite well except at large negative voltages, and here the modulator is to work at frequencies where the rectifier reactance resistance is so high that it often has little influence on the circuit performance. It can readily be appreciated that, since no perfect cannot be neglected. representation of the characteristic can be derived in simple form, (3) PERFORMANCE OF THE BASIC MODULATOR CIRCUITS it is necessary to use the approximate law that gives the most appropriate analysis of any particular problem. Thus we shall The basic circuits of the two types of modulator are shown sometimes use the square wave and sometimes the exponential in Fig. 1. Two factors which affect the efficiency of the overall representation. (3.1) Efficiency and the Modulating Function (3.1.1) Effect of Circuit Impedance and Ratio of Backward to Forward Resistance. In using modulators in practice, it is rarely that the most efficient operating conditions are determined and used. Using the "perfect-switch" representation, it is shown in Appendix 9.1 that the greatest efficiency of a ring modulator is obtained when the circuit impedance (i.e. the terminating impedance at input and output) is equal to the geometric mean of forward and backward resistances of the individual rectifiers, and Appendix 9.2 shows the corresponding condition for a Cowan modulator to be twice the geometric mean. Thus for a lowfrequency ring-modulator using G2 type copper-oxide rectifiers, which have a forward resistance of about 50-100 ohms and a backward resistance of about 100 000-200 000 ohms, the circuit impedance should be about 3 000 ohms. It is common to find such modulators used in 600 ohm circuits. The loss of efficiency (as determined in Appendices 9.1 and 9.2) in relation to the ratio of the backward to the forward resistance and to errors in circuit impedance is shown in Figs. 3 and 4. From these curves it is seen that such a modulator should have only 0- 5 db loss of efficiency due to the rectifier resistances, but owing to the use of the wrong circuit impedance, a further loss of 0- 8 db is introduced. Thejise of circuit impedances lower than that giving optimum efficiency has frequently some justification in the facts that (a) input signals of higher level can be handled without overloading, since the signal voltage developed across the rectifiers is obviously less in circuits of lower impedance, and (Jb) greater stability can be obtained in respect of temperature variations, as discussed in Appendix 9.3. The matter of overloading and non-linearity of response is

Fig. 1.Basic modulator circuits with potentiometer for balancing carrier leak.
(a) Ring modulator. (6) Cowan modulator.

circuit but which will not be considered from this aspect here are the transformers and the balancing potentiometer (P); they are not fundamental to the modulator operation and can be considered separately if necessary. Factors which will be considered are: (a) The forward and backward resistances of the rectifiers, and the rectifier characteristics in general. (b) The nature and voltage of the carrier supply. A typical rectifier characteristic is shown in Fig. 2, which relates the a.c. resistance (designated r) to the voltage (V) across the rectifier. Curve ABCD represents the characteristic of a practical rectifier, such as one of copper-oxide type, although with some types, such as silicon crystal "valves," the resistance falls with increasing negative voltage, as shown by Ai. Curve AB'C'D represents a simplification of the characteristic which is sometimes convenient in approximate analysis; this is the "perfect-switch" case, where the resistance changes from con* "Efficiency" is used in the sense of the amplitude ratio of the wanted output components to the input signal.

BALANCED RECTIFIER MODULATORS FOR PRECISION APPLICATIONS

163

10

K X ) 1000 104 Backward resistance _ ? Forward resistance

this gives quite an accurate analysis. This shape depends on the following additional factors: (a) The rectifier resistance/voltage characteristics, both a.c. (for the transmission path) and d.c. (for the effect of the carrier voltage). (b) The peak amplitude of the carrier e.m.f. (assumed sinusoidal). (c) The resistance of the circuit supplying the carrier. As far as (b) is concerned, it is usual to use a carrier e.m.f. sufficient to ensure that the rectifiers give the constant forward resistance over the greater part of the appropriate half-cycle of the carrier; in these circumstances the response of the modulator to the input signal is substantially linear. As far as (c) is concerned, the modulating function approaches more nearly a square waveform as the resistance is increased. Given the factors (a), (b) and (c) above, the modulating function can be calculated,1 and Figs. 5 and 6 show the modu-

Fig. 3.Effect of ratio of backward to forward resistance on efficiency of ring and Cowan modulators (for case of optimum circuit impedance).

/
i

/ y / / 1 // / , .*
woo
rf-1000 n 2 -10 4 10 Fig. 4.Effect of circuit impedance on the efficiency of ring and Cowan modulators.
where

10

20

30

40
(Vet

50

60

73

80

90

Fig. 5.Calculated modulating function for ring modulator with rectifiers having laws R = 100 + l O V - ^ a n d r 60 + 5 000e-6^.
Em = E.M.F. of carrier generator. Rc = Resistance of carrier generator. Circuit impedance 600 il Circuit impedance 3 000 LI

10

fo-8 o
106
J0-4 02 / iGn-1-5/

1 Z" Zx Forward resistance Zy = Backward resistance Z = Circuit impedance.

r A
fcfct

MWMW

mm

fn-07

rather difficult and involved to deal with in detail, and will not be discussed further in the present paper. The question of stability is generally much more important, and can readily be analysed. Appendix 9.1 shows that the maximum efficiency condition gives maximum stability in respect of variation in circuit impedance, but on the other hand Appendix 9.3 shows that, owing to the backward resistance of the rectifier being more unstable than the forward, a lower circuit impedance is necessary to give maximum stability against rectifier changes. To obtain good all-round stability, the use of stable resistors shunted across the rectifiers is recommended, with a circuit impedance based on maximum efficiency for the modified circuit; an example is given in Appendix 9.3. (3.1.2) Consideration of the Modulating Function. For determining the actual shape of the modulating function, it is desirable to use the exponential rectifier representation, as

10 20 50 40 50 60 70 80"

90s

Fig. 6.Calculated modulating functions for ring modulator with rectifiers as in Fig. 5: effect of varying e.m.f. of carrier generator (Em).
Circuit impedance = 600 1. Resistance of carrier generator = 0.

lating function obtained from a ring modulator using rectifiers with

* = 100 +
and / = 60 + for various carrier-supply conditions. As can be seen from the previous paper, this represents quite closely a copper-oxide

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TUCKER: SOME ASPECTS OF THE DESIGN OF the modulating function is not symmetrical about its mean value in the case of practical Cowan modulators. Thus, although in the ideal modulator the modulating function contains only odd harmonics, in practice it contains even harmonics as well. (3.1.3) Other Factors Affecting Efficiency. The efficiency of a modulator can be increased by the use of a terminating impedance at the output which is resistive to the wanted sideband, but gives a short-circuit or open-circuit condition to unwanted sidebands. In such a case power is diverted entirely into the wanted sideband.3-4 This process is generally impossible to realize accurately, and, since any departure from the short-circuit or open-circuit condition is unlikely to be constant over the frequency band of the unwanted sideband, it is clear that the power-diversion effect will vary over the frequency band, giving a distorted frequency response to the modulator efficiency. It is usual in good practice, therefore, to provide a constant resistive termination for the modulator, and to obtain this by inserting an attenuation pad between the modulator and any filter following it. Modulators are often used at frequencies where the rectifier capacitance determines the backward impedance, and in such circumstances circuits of lower impedance are necessary. Thus, for instance, a small copper-oxide rectifier (say H or G type) has a capacitance of the order of 0 001 /xF across the backward resistance. At lOOkc/s, this represents a reactance of about 2 000 ohms, so that the backward resistance is no longer of any significance. Above 2-3 Mc/s, the ratio between backward and forward impedance becomes too small to be of much use. CaruthersS has discussed this problem, and shown that circuit impedances of only about 50 ohms have to be used for copperoxide modulators at these relatively very high frequencies. However, there seems to be very little useful purpose in using rectifiers under such conditions in future. Diodes and crystal valves are available which, since they have capacitances of the order of 1 jUfiF or less, may be considered essentially resistive up to frequencies of the order of 1 Mc/s; they also remain efficient rectifiers up to several hundred megacycles per second. It is not proposed, therefore, to give any further consideration to the effect of capacitance here. (3.2) Carrier Leak In addition to problems associated with the modulating function and with efficiency, the problem of carrier leak has often to be considered. Both the types of modulator under consideration are nominally balanced to the carrier, i.e. ideally there is no component of carrier frequency or its harmonics in the output. But if the four rectifiers comprising the modulator are not identical or otherwise adequately balanced, there will be such components in the output. A certain amount of balance is nearly always a requirement in practice, but as no special arrangements for balancing, apart from the potentiometer discussed in the next Section, are usually provided, a carrier leak of about one-twentieth of .the carrier voltage is often accepted as a reliable value. In certain types of equipment, particularly measuring equipment, a very high degree of.balance is essential, and if realized at all, generally requires constant readjustment. Filtration is commonly used as an additional means of suppressing the carrier leak. (3.2.1) Simple Potentiometer Adjustment in a Ring Modulator. The potentiometer mentioned above is connected as shown by P in Fig. 1. A suitable adjustment can generally be found to give a carrier leak of lower magnitude than that obtained with no potentiometer. The balance is always a compromise in the ring modulator, where it is not possible to balance both half-

modulator using G2-type rectifiers. Circuit impedances of 600 ohms and 3 000 ohms have been considered, the former being the most usual and the latter approximately the most efficient. The observed modulating function of such a modulator, when the impedance of the carrier was approximately zero, was recorded from the trace of a cathode-ray tube and found to be indistinguishable from the calculated function. A Fourier analysis of the measured modulating function (with carrier voltage 1 volt peak, 600-ohm circuit) gives relative amplitudes of harmonics as follows: Fundamental .. .. 1 0 3rd harmonic .. .. 0186 5th harmonic .. .. 0043 as compared with the 1 : 0-33 : 0-2 relation of the square wave. It can be seen that the shape of the modulating function becomes nearer a square form as (a) the circuit impedance is made more nearly that required for maximum efficiency (i.e. approximately 3 000 ohms for the rectifiers concerned), and (b) the resistance of the carrier generator is increased, with the e.m.f. adjusted so that approximately the same voltage peak occurs across the rectifiers in each case. The use of a more nearly square modulating function is rarely an advantage in itself, as it introduces more of the modulation products of higher order which are not usually wanted; but the dependence of the amplitude of the wanted products on the carrier voltage is decreased as the modulating function approaches a square form. The efficiency of the modulator as regards the sum and difference modulation products is measured by the amplitude of the fundamental component in the modulating function. The fundamental component in a square wave is 4/TT times that of a pure sine wave of the same maximum amplitude, and it is evident, therefore, that the efficiency of modulation is increased as the modulating function approaches the former. It is for this reason, moreover, that variations in carrier voltage have most effect on the efficiency when the carrier-generator resistance is low, since then, as can be seen from Fig. 6, the modulating function is far from square, and changes in voltage have a relatively large effect on the shape. A similar illustration of the modulating function of a Cowan modulator is shown in Fig. 7, where the same rectifier charac-

80 -60 -40 -20 0 20

60

80

Fig. 7.Calculated modulating function for Cowan modulator with rectifiers having laws R = 100 + lCMe-^ and r = 60 + 5 OOOe-6^.
Em E.M.F. of carrier generator. Re = Resistance of carrier generator. Circuit impedance 600 il.

teristics have been taken as for the ring modulator, but the circuit impedance has been raised to 6 000 ohms, which is near the optimum value for the Cowan modulator. The resistance of the carrier generator has the same kind of influence on the shape of the modulating function as before. It should be noted that

BALANCED RECTIFIER MODULATORS FOR PRECISION APPLICATIONS

165

cycles of carrier with the same adjustment, since different pairs of rectifiers are involved. It is only the carrier leak of fundamental frequency and its odd harmonics for which the approximate balance is obtained, since the potentiometer adjustment may increase even-harmonic leak when it is adjusted for oddharmonic or fundamental leak. This can be overcome to a large extent by using a potentiometer at each end of the modulator. A balance made in this way is usually not very stable. Generally, too, it is not a very good balance, since it provides compensation only of the main part of the rectifier characteristic, where the forward resistance assumes its constant low value at large carrier voltages. Experience shows that the parts of the carrier cycle where the carrier voltage is very small are not dealt with, and the residual leak is of the type shown in Fig. 8. In other words, the leak occurs when the recti-

<S

ujct

3 000, 3 000 and 3 150 ohms for the four rectifiers taken cyclicly round the ring. Curve (d) shows the corresponding waveform when the first and third rectifiers are interchanged. The effect of the carrier source impedance is important. It is evident that the actual voltage peaks of the carrier leak are unaffected if the carrier e.m.f. is always arranged to give the same peak voltage across the rectifiers. But with higher impedances, the angular width of the "pulses" of carrier leak is smaller, and the content of carrier fundamental component is proportionately smaller still. Typical leak waveforms for various conditions of the carrier generator, but with other details as before, are shown in curves (a), (b) and (c) of Fig. 9. Thus the impedance of the carrier generator should obviously be high if the carrier leak is to be kept small in this basic modulator circuit. It is worth pointing out that rectifier capacitance, which varies considerably from one rectifier to another, contributes to the problem of carrier leak, and in modulators used at frequencies where the capacitance represents a fairly low impedance it is necessary to connect small capacitors across one side or the other of the balancing potentiometer in order to obtain a reasonable balance. It should be added that in most cases of a ring modulator to which this has to be done, the reactive unbalance is due to unbalance in the transformer windings and hardly at all to the rectifier capacitances. (3.2.2) Selection of Rectifiers for Low Leak in a Ring Modulator. The first step in obtaining a smaller leak than that given by the potentiometer adjustment is to make a preliminary selection of the rectifiers from a large batch so that their characteristics match as far as practicable. The simplest process of selection is to measure the rectifier currents at a fixed applied voltage, and to select the four that are most nearly the same; this is a very crude selection. The whole relevant resistance/voltage or current/voltage characteristic of a rectifier may be measured, and the selection made on the basis of the nearest identity of the whole characteristics; but this is very laborious and does not give as good results as might be anticipated, owing to the effect of small discrepancies which are hardly evident from the measured characteristics. The best method of selection appears to be one which will now be discussed in detail. The method is to choose any three rectifiers at random, and to select the fourth to give the minimum output of the fundamental frequency of the carrier. During this test the potentiometer is made ineffective by short-circuiting each arm. This selection can be effected rapidly if a fairly stable wave-analyser is connected to the output and correctly tuned. Since the rectifiers all have characteristics of similar shape, the waveform of adjacent half-cycles of carrier leak must be of almost the same shape, although in general of different amplitude. Then, when the output of fundamental frequency is adjusted by selection to be nearly zero, the residual leak must be of the same polarity and nearly the same amplitude in every half-cycle, as shown in Fig. 10(a), and therefore contains mainly only even harmonics. The two rectifiers of one pair (i.e. two rectifiers which are both conducting on the same half-cycle of carrier) are now interchanged, so that the output waveform becomes symmetrical, as

Fig. 8.Residual carrier leak in ring modulator. fiers are in the transition stage between forward and backward resistances; and considering the resistance/voltage law R = i?0 + &1e-iK, it is evident that while the adjustment processes are equivalent to making i?0 the same for all rectifiers, the four rectifiers have different values of Ar1# (It has been shown in an earlier paper1 that ql tends to be the same for all rectifiers of one type, only i?0 and kr being variable.) The leak waveform may be easily calculated for the condition that only k^ is unequal in the four rectifiers, as shown in Appendix 9.4. Fig. 9 shows in curve (b) a calculated waveform

(o)

/ \ / \ /v

(b)

(c)

\
002

0
002

/
V

A
20 40 f

V
0
ufct

-60 -40 -20

Fig. 9.Typical calculated waveforms of carrier leak in ring modulator when main part of rectifier characteristic is balanced.
(a) Em 10, 0 (b) Em 3, 100 (c) Em 21, /?c = 1000 {d) Em 3. 100 i.e. as (6), but with rectifiers of one pair interchanged.

(o)

H-lcydel | of carrier I

for the case where 7?0 = 100 ohms, qx 10, the carrier voltage is derived from a generator of e.m.f. = 3 volts (peak) with an internal resistance, Rc, of 100 ohms, and kx is respectively 3 075,

Fig. 10.Illustration of the selection process.

166

TUCKER: SOME ASPECTS OF THE DESIGN OF -n/4 Leak


IF/4

shown in Fig. 10(Z>). This waveform now contains only odd harmonics, including the fundamental frequency. The potentiometer is made effective at this stage, and adjusted so that once again the output of fundamental frequency is a minimum. This adjustment means that the amplitude of the wave of Fig. 10(6) is reduced to a small value, and it is evident that there is a simultaneous minimum of output of carrier frequency and all its harmonics, odd or even, so that the modulator is very well balanced. It is evident that, since the balance is not a compromise in the sense of the usual simple potentiometer balance, but does really compensate for the rectifier differences, the adjustment is likely to be satisfactory over an appreciable range of ambient temperature, carrier amplitude, etc. The effectiveness of the process will be illustrated by some measured results obtained from 5 entirely separate modulators made up from among 30 rectifiers of copper-oxide (G2) type, using the selection process described above.* The modulators were used in a 600-ohm transmission circuit, with a 2 000-c/s carrier at 1-4 volts r.m.s. from a constant-voltage source. As already shown, this is actually the worst condition, and a highresistance source would give still better results. They were set up with no input signal, but the effect of applying an 800-c/s input signal at 0-78 volt is also shown. All the figures in the table are in millivolts across the load resistance.
Table 1
CARRIER LEAK RESULTS OF FIVE MODULATORS SET UP BY THE SELECTION PROCESS With no input signal Modulator Fundamental carrier leak mV 2nd harmonic carrier leak mV With input signal Fundamental carrier leak mV 1-4 3-6 3-6 3-5 3-7 2nd harmonic carrier leak mV 4-5 2-9 5-8 5-5 1-5 Sideband

-rr/4

71/4

Fig. 11.Residual carrier leak in Cowan modulator.


(a) High-resistance carrier generator. (b) Zero-resistance carrier generator.

balanced fairly well for the forward half-cycle of carrier. That this is sufficient for a first approximation will be clear from Fig. 11, which shows the residual leak waveform in a typical case when the potentiometer is adjusted to compensate for the main part of the forward half-cycle. It is clear that the backward half-cycle contributes practically nothing to the carrier leak, and the only important part of the cycle is that corresponding to small forward voltages. As a result of tests made using various types of rectifiers, it appears that the optimum adjustment of a Cowan modulator (including the use of bias, discussed in a later Section) gives a leak some 10 or 15 db higher in level (relative to sideband level) than that obtained from a ring modulator using the same type of rectifier. This is due, in part, to the fact that the modulation loss is more than 6db greater in the Cowan modulator, resulting in lower-level sidebands from a given input signal. (4) THE USE OF BIAS ON THE RECTIFIERS So far we have discussed the performance and design considerations of modulators of the basic type, comprising four rectifiers, the balancing potentiometer, and such transformers as are required. Further control over the performance can be obtained by the addition of bias voltages to each rectifier. The efficiency can sometimes be increased, the proportion of unwanted modulation products can be reduced, and carrier leak can be stabilized at a low level by this means. It will be convenient to deal with small and large bias voltages separately. The former are around 0 1-0-2 volt; the latter are about 0-5 volt in typical cases.

fof
mV

A B C D E

11 10 10 07 015

40 3-2 60 3-5 0-4

I 385

(4.1) Small Bias Voltages It will be seen that with the input signal at the high level of 0 78 volt, the carrier leak of fundamental frequency is still more These can be used to increase efficiency and decrease carrier than 40 db below the sideband level. leak. The results remained very nearly as shown over ten temperature cycles from 20 to 45 C, and were maintained for a long period (4.1.1) Maximum Efficiency Obtained by means of Bias. It can be seen from the characteristic of a typical metal(several months at least). Results as good as these could never be expected from the rectifier of Fig. 12 that over a portion of the forward voltage ordinary methods of setting up modulators. (3.2.3) Cowan Modulators. Owing to the fact that all four rectifiers of a Cowan modulator are of low resistance simultaneously and in the backward halfcycle are of high enough resistance to ensure that the carrier current, and therefore the unbalance current, is small, it can be seen that the processes o selection and balancing by a potentiometer are considerably simplified as compared with a ring modulator. Selection and balancing can be carried out with Fig. 12.Typical rectifier characteristic. reference to the forward half-cycle only. The selection process Linear scale of r. consists merely of replacing any one rectifier by a series of others until one is found which gives a small enough carrier leak. It is immaterial on which of the four bridge arms the operation is range the resistance is still high. The extent of this effect varies performed. Similarly, the potentiometer adjustment is not the from type to type; selenium "Sentercell" rectifiers show it most compromise it is in the ring modulator; the bridge can be markedly, and it can represent nearly one-third of the usual value of forward carrier-swing. It is evident that this represents a loss * The standard deviation of the resistance values was about 50 % of the average at of efficiency since the "switching" does not occur when the any particular voltage.

Leak

BALANCED RECTIFIER MODULATORS FOR PRECISION APPLICATIONS carrier voltage is zero. Improved efficiency can be obtained, therefore, by the use of a small positive bias voltage in series with the rectifier and so adjusted that the bend coincides more nearly with the point where the carrier voltage is zero. In a similar way, diode characteristics do not generally show "switching" at zero applied voltage. Fig. 13 shows a typical

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This result suggests that the efficiency can in many cases be improved in this way by over 0-5 db on the fundamental component. The fact that the modulating function is nearer to the square wave is not generally of value, and may involve additional filtration to eliminate the 3/c / and similar products which are increased by several decibels. (4.1.2) Reduction of Carrier Leak by Adjustment of RectiOer Bias for Equal Rectified Currents. Results comparable with those discussed in Section 3.2.2 can be obtained by adjusting all four bias circuits so that the rectified currents are equal in all four rectifiers. A combination of this process with selection of rectifiers can give even better results. Allowance for the transformer unbalance should be made separately by the use of the potentiometer. (4.2) Large Bias Voltages (4.2.1) The Use of a Large Bias to Reduce the Output of Unwanted nfc db / Products. If the negative bias is increased beyond the point at which maximum efficiency is obtained (which means, in the case of metal rectifiers, merely applying negative bias), the condition arises that all four rectifiers are of high resistance over that portion (say 9 radians) of the carrier cycle where the carrier voltage is sufficiently small. Thus over this portion in a ring modulator the modulating function is zero or very small. Fig. 15(a) shows

v
Fig. 13.Typical diode characteristic.
A.C. resistance (r) against voltage (K).

diode characteristic, and it will be seen that the a.c. resistance is low over part of the backward voltage cycle. Diode characteristics vary very much with heater current, but that shown is typical; it is not usual for the characteristic to be of the type of Fig. 12. Thus a negative bias voltage is required to improve the efficiency, and this is easily applied by means of a resistor and capacitor in series with the diode, as shown in Fig. 14. The

-u/2

*G*i/

rt/2

(o) -n/2

(b) 0 (ifct

n/2

J
Fig. 14.Circuit ofringmodulator using biased diodes. best way to adjust the circuit for maximum efficiency is to adjust each bias resistor so that the rectified carrier current is the maximum (i.e. with the carrier circuit connected but no input applied) in each diode. When this is done, the modulating function is the nearest approach to a square wave which is realizable with the particular carrier and signal circuits used. Table 2 indicates these effects; the figures are relative only, and were obtained from a ring modulator with Dl type diodes; the carrier supply was effectively of constant-voltage type, and therefore the modulating function is inherently as far from the square shape as possible. Table 2
ANALYSIS OF MODULATING FUNCTION OF DIODE RING MODULATOR
No bias; rectified current =500nA Biased to maximum rectified current (750 (xA) Square wave for comparison (relative only)

Fig. 15.The modulating function <f>(t) for the large-bias condition.


(a) Ring modulator. Cowan modulator.

the general shape of the modulating function of a ring modulator when the bias is increased considerably. A waveform such as this can be represented by a Fourier series, containing only odd harmonics, in which certain harmonics can be practically zero according to the bias. If the modulating function were a perfect square wave, then any harmonic could be eliminated completely.8 The angular distance 9 is in this case related to the order n of the harmonic to be suppressed thus: \2 n* radians

Component

Fundamental .. 3rd harmonic .. 5th harmonic ..

58 13 4-8

62 18 7-5

1 0-33 0-2

and it is seen that to eliminate the 3rd harmonic, B must bo 303. Since the modulating function is not, in practice, a perfect square wave, a slightly different value of 9 is required, and perfect suppression of the harmonic is not obtained. It must be noted that it is in any case only when the modulating function is not square that a reduction of the 3rd-harmonic component is realizable with the simple over-biased arrangement; it is desirable that the generator providing the carrier should have a low impedance so that the bias can give a large enough time interval before the carrier voltage overcomes the bias. The same result applies to a Cowan modulator, in which the modified modulating function appears as shown in Fig. 15(6). It is important, however, to note that even harmonics (which are always present in small amounts in a practical Cowan modulator)

168

TUCKER: SOME ASPECTS OF THE DESIGN OF As an example of what can be obtained by the overbias method, it can be stated that a ring modulator using diodes type Dl in a 2 400 ohms transmission circuit with a 1 0 volt (r.m.s.) carrier from a low-impedance source, and with rectified carrier current of 200 fxA (optimum efficiency current = 750 fj,A), can be stabilized by means of a barretter in the heater circuit to give a carrier leak not worse than 40 db below one sideband (/c / ) at a signal level as high as 0-35 volt over a range of applied heater-circuit voltage of about 1 5 % . It is evident that this method has no application to a Cowan modulator.

are introduced in large amounts in this case; this largely removes any advantage the suppression of an odd harmonic may offer. The significance of this effect, in practice, is that modulation components of the type 3/c / or 5fcf can be considerably reduced in amplitude. This may result in a saving of filters if such components have in any case to be suppressed. In general, it will be desired to reduce the 3/c / products, and this can be done to the extent of 25-30 db below the/ c / p r o ducts. Some typical measurements taken on the same diode ring modulator as used for Table 2, adjusted approximately to the optimum suppression of 3rd harmonic in the modulating function, were as follows: Fundamental 3rd harmonic 5th harmonic 43 " 1 relative figures - on same scale 2 f 6-3 J as Table 2

(5) CONSTANT-IMPEDANCE MODULATOR In general, the input impedance of a ring modulator varies considerably with the instantaneous value of the applied carrier voltage. This effect can be measured by replacing the carrier The rectified current was 200 /zA in each diode. It will be by a steady voltage of variable and known magnitude and then seen that there is a 3 2 db loss of efficiency (in respect of the measuring the input impedance with a low-level test tone. The fundamental) as compared with the optimum condition, but that impedance may vary over a ratio of 2 or 3 to 1, so that it is not the 3rd harmonic is 26-6 db below the fundamental as compared possible to predict accurately the insertion loss of any filter imwith 10 7 db for the adjustment for optimum efficiency. Almost mediately preceding the modulator, and to overcome this identical results were obtained with G2 copper-oxide rectifiers objection, a resistance pad is usually inserted between any filter and the modulator. using an audio-frequency carrier. By suitable design, it is possible to obtain the input impedance (4.2.2) The Use of a Large Bias to Obtain Still Lower Carrier Leak. reasonably constant over the range of carrier voltage, and thus (Ring Modulator Only.) to eliminate the wasteful loss of the pad. If a large bias voltage is used with a carrier generator of To develop this design method, we must consider the rectifiers sufficiently low impedance so that the angle 6 becomes, say, at to be represented by the exponential law r = r0 + k2e~^y least 10-15, then we have the condition that, when the carrier as discussed earlier. The ring modulator may be represented voltage rises sufficiently to overcome the bias on the two of the as in Fig. 17(o). By a well-known transformation of lattice rectifiers which are intended to go over to their forward resistance, the other two rectifiers are of very high resistance, and the carrier leak (which can only now become noticeable) is due only to the unbalance of the one pair of rectifiers. (Without the large bias, the carrier leak is a function of both pairs.) The state of affairs is now that the leak is of the form shown in Fig. 16, where the contributions of each pair of rectifiers are () Fig. 17.Constant-impedance modulator. networks, the circuit of Fig. 17(b) may be drawn as identically equivalent. By the principle of constant-impedance networks as put forward by ZobeP in connection with the equalization of frequency response, it can be seen, regarding the lattice portion of Fig. 17(6), that if this lattice is terminated at one side by a resistance
R = T/(k2-<Hyk2e+iV) = k2

Fig. 16.Leak of modulator with large bias, before adjustment. quite separate. This enables the two pairs to be separately compensated, by adjustment of the bias, for the carrier leak at low carrier voltages, while adjustment of the potentiometer compensates for the remainder of the carrier cycle. By the use of this method it is possible to obtain carrier leak voltages some 12-20 db lower than those obtained by the methods described in previous Sections. It is an important feature of the use of bias resistances, however, that the input signal currents also contribute to the bias, and in such a way as to unbalance the modulator; thus extremely low carrier leaks can only be maintained if the signal level is restricted to very low values. But it must be remembered that it is mainly only at low signallevels that the very low carrier leaks are required. This difficulty does not arise, of course, if battery bias is used, although it is found, in practice, that very high signal levels (of the order of the carrier voltage) always tend to unbalance the modulator, as illustrated by the results shown in Table 2. Another effect of the use of bias resistors is to make the balance to some extent dependent on the peak voltage of the carrier.

>

Leak

then the resistance at the other side, seen looking into the lattice network, is also R(= k2). Returning to the real network of Fig. 17(a), it is now evident that if the terminating impedance at one pair of terminals is made a resistance of value k2 r0, then the impedance seen looking into the other pair is k2 + r0, which is constant and independent of the carrier voltage. In practice, the constancy of impedance obtainable is limited by the closeness with which the exponential resistance law represents the actual rectifier characteristic. However, the closeness of representation is important only over that portion of the voltage range where the resistance is not very high, so that its actual value does appreciably affect the modulator performance. It should generally be possible to obtain the impedance constant to say 1 5 % , and a measured impedance response of a diode ring modulator is shown as curve A in Fig. 18. The diodes

BALANCED RECTIFIER MODULATORS FOR PRECISION APPLICATIONS

169

-10

-0-5 0 05 10 DC. voltage on carrier terminals

Fig. 18.Input impedance of ring modulator at various instantaneous carrier voltages.


Curve A: 2 000 ohms termination. Curve B: 600 ohms termination.

a carrier generator of low resistance cause the production of less unwanted output of the type nfc f, but it is also possible in such a case to reduce still further the output of one particular pair of products (say 3/ c / ) by the use of over-biased rectifiers. This cannot be achieved with a carrier source of high resistance. (c) It is seen from Section 3.2.1 that when the modulator is balanced by means of a potentiometer so as to produce the minimum amount of carrier leak, then the residual leak depends on the resistance of the earlier generator, and the amplitude of the fundamental component of the leak diminishes rapidly as this resistance is increased. (d) On the other hand, the method of Section 4.2.2 for obtaining a very low carrier leak by using large bias voltages is dependent on the use of a low resistance. It is evidently not possible to draw a general conclusion as to what is the best value of the resistance of the carrier generator, but it is probable that a high resistance is best for most ordinary requirements. (7) CONCLUSIONS The paper has reviewed the performance of balanced modulators of ring and Cowan types, chiefly from the points of view of efficiency of modulation, production of unwanted modulation products and carrier leak. It has been shown that there are advantages in designing a modulator for maximum efficiency by choosing a circuit impedance of optimum value and a carrier supply of high resistance. Variations in efficiency due to variations in carrier voltage, circuit impedance and temperature are then a minimum, although it may be necessary to shunt each rectifier with a constant resistance to achieve this. The production of modulation products of higher order is greatest in a modulator of maximum efficiency with a high-resistance circuit supplying the carrier, and is reduced considerably if inefficient working and a low-resistance carrier-supply circuit are used. Further reduction, if desired, can be obtained by the use of a large bias on the rectifiers, and it has been found possible fcf to reduce the 3/ c f sidebands to over 26 db below the sidebands. This method is of value only with ring modulators, as with the Cowan circuit it introduces products of the 2/ c / t y p e . It has been shown that the ordinary potentiometer adjustment for carrier leak compensates only the unbalances between the constant low forward resistances of the rectifiers, and there remains an out-of-balance current at small values of the instantaneous carrier voltage. This effect can be reduced by using a high-resistance circuit to provide the carrier and by appropriate selection of the rectifiers; a further improvement, in the case of ring modulators, can be obtained by the use of large biases on the rectifiers. Carrier leaks as low as 60 db relative to 1 volt in 600 ohms, or 40 db below sideband level when high-level signals are applied, can readily be obtained and maintained. A summary of the effects of the various design factors on the ring modulator performance is given in Table 3. No special table has been prepared for the Cowan modulator, since in those performance factors where it differs from the ring modulator it is generally less suitable for precision applications. It is assumed throughout that the rectifiers are purely resistive; although capacitance is generally associated with rectifiers it is not necessary to consider it in precision designs, since with diodes and crystal valves available with capacitances of 1 //,/zF or less, the effect of the capacitance is negligible up to frequencies of a megacycle per second or more. A method of design of a ring modulator is described in which the input impedance remains relatively constant over the cycle of carrier voltage; this may have important applications in precision circuits.

were type D l and the terminating resistance was about 2 000 ohms. It will be seen that the measured impedance is constant to within about 9 % . For comparison, the impedance of the same modulator when terminated by 600 ohms is shown in curve B, and it will be seen that this varies over a ratio of more than 2 to 1. It is worth noting that if k2 > r0, then the modulator designed for a constant impedance has also optimum efficiency, since the circuit impedance is the geometric mean of forward and backward resistances at all carrier voltages. The output impedance of the modulator could equally be made constant if the input were correctly terminated, but this would not generally have any application, since a pad is usually inserted in any case between the modulator output and any filter following it to avoid the effect of the frequency-variable filter impedance as a termination to the modulatoras discussed in Section 3.1.3. It is thus seen that the most useful practical application of the constant-impedance design is to the input side, where only a single range of frequencies is concerned; the existence of the various sidebands in the output complicates the application rather excessively at the output side. It is, of course, quite impossible to obtain a constant impedance in a Cowan modulator; the variable impedance is inherent in its principle of operation. (6) THE EFFECT OF THE RESISTANCE OF THE CARRIER GENERATOR It will have been noticed in the preceding Sections that the resistance of the circuit which supplies the carrier to the modulator has a marked influence on the performance of the modulator, and has always to be taken into account. For convenience, therefore, the various effects of the magnitude of this resistance are summarized together here. (a) It is seen from Section 3.1.2 that the higher we make the resistance of the carrier generator (always adjusting the carrier e.m.f. to maintain the same peak voltage across the rectifiers) the nearer the modulating function approaches the square shape. As has already been pointed out, this is rarely in itself an advantage; but it is an important fact that variations in the carrier voltage have less effect on the efficiency of modulation, and the efficiency is itself higher, the nearer the modulating function approaches the square shape. (b) It is seen from Section 4.2.1 that, not only does the use of

170

TUCKER: SOME ASPECTS OF THE DESIGN OF Table 3


SUMMARY OF EFFECTS OF DESIGN FACTORS ON THE PERFORMANCE OF RING MODULATORS

Design factors Performance factors Circuit impedance Impedance of carrier generator Selection of elements and resistance balancing Bias

Efficiency

Maximum efficiency when High-impedance generator circuit impedance gives maximum efficiency _ / /forward xbackward\ V ^ resistances ) A compromise is generally required (see Appendix 9.3) Effect small

Negligible effect

A small bias (positive for metal and crystal rectifiers and generally negative for diodes) will increase the efficiency Auto-bias will make efficiency more dependent on carrier voltage

Stability

Negligible effect

Carrier leak

Unbalance current is independent of circuit impedance. Leak voltage is proportional to circuit impedance

High-impedance generator gives minimum carrier leak in the basic circuit, but makes the use of a large bias ineffective High-impedance generator gives a modulating function which is nearest to a square form, so also gives maximum proportion of the nfc /products

A suitable selection and balancing process enables the leak to be reduced much more

A large negative bias enables better adjustment of carrier balance to be made; requires a carrier generator of low impedance A critical adjustment of bias enables the proportion of one pair of products of the type nfc f to be reduced. The reduction may be considerable if a carrier generator of low impedance is used

Proportion of nfc / Since optimum impedance products gives a modulating function which is nearest to a square form, this condition also gives maximum proportion of the nfc f products

Negligible effect

dance (equal at both ends of the modulator), then the value of (8) REFERENCES the modulating function <j>(t) is given by D. G.: "Rectifier Resistance Laws," Wireless Engineer, 1948, 25, p. 117. Z(Zy-Zx) (2) SCHMID, A.: "Die Wirkungsweise derRingmodulatoren," (1) Veroffa.d. Gebiete der Nachrichtentechnik, 1936, 6, p. 145. (3) KRUSE, S.: "Theory of Rectifier Modulators," Ericsson The value of Z for which this is a maximum is obtained by Technics, 1939, No. 2, p. 17. d (4) PETERSON, E., and HUSSEY, L. W.: "Equivalent Modulator differentiating with respect to Z and equating -p^j>(t) to zero. Circuits," Bell System Technical Journal, 1939, 18, This gives immediately p. 32. Z= V(ZxZy) (2) (5) CARUTHERS, R. S.: "Copper Oxide Modulators in Carrier Telephone Systems," ibid., 1939, 18, p. 315. Suppose that the backward to forward resistance ratio is (6) DEGAWA, Y.: "On the Modulation Less of Ring Modu- Zy\Zx n2. This gives the maximum value of lator," Nippon Electrical Communication Engineering, 1940, Jan., p. 143. x ~ (n + 1)2 n + 1 * * {i) (7) DEGAWA, Y.: "On the Metal Modulator of Shunt Type and of Series Type," ibid., 1940, Jan., p. 139. Based on this, the variation of efficiency with n is shown in (8) STANSEL, F. R.: "Some Analyses of Wave Shapes used in Fig. 3. Harmonic Producers," Bell System Technical Journal, Consider now the general case where Z = m^(ZxZy) or 1941, 20, p. 331. (9) ZOBEL, O. J.: "Distortion Correction in Electrical Circuits \/{ZxZy). Then from equation (1), with Constant-resistance Recurrent Networks," ibid., 1928, 7, p. 438. 'JZ t (4) : (1 + m/i)(l + n/m) v/ from which the relative values of <f>(t) for different values of m (9) APPENDICES are easily calculated. (9.1) The Relation between Circuit Impedance and Efficiency in The value of <f>(t) determined from equation (4) can only be a "Perfect-Switch" Ring Modulator regarded as the efficiency of the modulator when the rectifiers It has been shown in a previous paper1 that if Zx and Z~ are function as a sudden change from a constant high to a constant the forward and backward resistances of the rectifiers for a low resistance and vice versa, i.e. when <f>(t) is a square wave (the particular value of carrier voltage, and if Z is the circuit impe- "perfect-switch" condition). The values given for <(/) apply (1)
TUCKER,

BALANCED RECTIFIER MODULATORS FOR PRECISION APPLICATIONS otherwise only to a certain instant of time defined by a certain value of carrier voltage. For the perfect-switch condition, the relative decrease of efficiency as the circuit impedance is changed from the optimum value is given by Decrease of efficiency = 20 log10 (1 + /wi)(l + n/m) db . (5)

171

Graphs of this decrease in terms of m for several values of n are given in Fig. 4. It will be seen that, in general, the value of the circuit impedance is far from critical. It can easily be seen by differentiating the ratio term in equation (5) that the rate of change of efficiency with m is zero when m = 1. Similarly from equation (3), the rate of change of efficiency with n is zero when n = oo. Thus the stability of the modulator is highest in these respects when it is designed for maximum efficiency.
(9.2) The Relation between Circuit Impedance and Efficiency in

than ten times that of the forward resistance; moreover, the variation from one rectifier to another within a sample may also be more than ten times as great for the backward as for the forward resistance. It is thus necessary to determine and examine the conditions for stability in such a case. The working and discussion which follow are in terms of a ring modulator, but apply with only slight modification to a Cowan modulator. Suppose the forward resistance changes by a proportion A to Zx (1 + A), and the backward resistance changes by a proportion pA to Zy (1 + p/S). Assume throughout that A is small, i.e. A < 1. Put VCZ^Zp = Z 0 so that the initial value of m, designated w0, is Z/Zo. After change, we have Z0A =

so that the new value of m is Z


4
A ;

a "Perfect-Switch" Cowan Modulator Using the same terminology as in Section 9.1, we have the value of (f>(t) at any particular instant given by
2Z. _2Zy_

OA

Z + 2Z,
and
:

, for the forward half-cycle of carrier,

If nl is the initial ratio, and n\ the new ratio,


7 (\ 4- n/

Z+2Z,

, for the backward half-cycle of carrier.

then
and

ZA.(1 + A)

Assuming perfect switching from Zx to Zy and vice versa, the efficiency of modulation is evidently proportional to, and may be defined by the difference between these two values of <f>(t). Let 7) be this efficiency, then 2Zy Z + 2Zy
2Z.

Thus, from eqn. (4), the height of the modulating function is

Z + 2ZX

mAn A)(l +

dt\ dr\ 0 For maximum efficiency, ~ dZ

i.e. or

-2Z,
Z,)2

2ZV
( Z -f 2ZX)2

DA]

Z=2 A /(Z A .Z >r )

(6)

If the ratio Zy\Zx = n2, then the maximum efficiency is 2 - l n - 1


Vmax
(/| + 1)2 n + 1

With the "perfect-switch" conception, this represents the efficiency of the modulator. The efficiency will be constant and independent of small changes in the rectifiers ifd<f>A(t)/dA. is zero. So, differentiating the above expression and equating d<f>A(t)fd&, to zero, we find the condition
m

'

'

'

V)

which is the same as that of the ring modulator. In the general case where Z = 2m\/(ZxZy) the efficiency becomes
1

- no(p - 1) (iig - ^ -

\Wp

or

2
m

~^/(ZxZy)
(8)

1 (1 + mri){\ + /1//11)

. . . .

where the sign is due to the solution of w0 from a quadratic equation. It can be seen that the + sign is the correct one, so that the modulator is most stable in respect of rectifier variations when pnl-l It can be seen that, since m0 must be real and positive, complete stability can be obtained only when p is positive and of magnitude not exceeding //. This means that complete stability (for small variations of rectifier resistance) can be obtained in respect of temperature, because then (in all cases known to the author) both forward and backward resistance change in the same direction, and the ratio of temperature coefficients of resistance does not exceed the ratio of backward to forward resistance.

also as in the ring modulator. (9.3) Stability Conditions with respect to Rectifier Variations The condition of maximum efficiency of the modulator is not the most stable condition in respect of rectifier variation when the backward and forward resistances of the rectifiers do not vary by equal proportions in the same direction. In practice this is most frequently the case, and in rectifiers such as the copper-oxide, and silicon and germanium crystal types, the variation of backward resistance with temperature may be more

172

TUCKER: ASPECTS OF DESIGN OF BALANCED RECTIFIER MODULATORS FOR PRECISION APPLICATIONS

As an example, take n% = 100 and determine the relation to be large and roughly of the same order in both cases. As between the optimum value of w0 and p. This is shown in an example, consider a modulator made up with rectifiers having Fig. 19. The condition of maximum efficiency (m0 = 1) is the backward and forward resistances nominally 100 000 and 100 ohms, respectively. Assume the backward resistance may vary from 500 000 to 10 000 ohms as the rectifiers are changed for others, but neglect any variation in forward resistance. 10 Then 0-8 \ (a) if m0 = 1 nominally, loss varies from 0-12 to 2-75 db, \ i.e. by 2-63 db, 06 (b) if m0 0-3 nominally, loss varies from 0-67 to 1-74 db, i.e. by 1-07 db, so that a low WQ does give improvement. \ (c) If the rectifiers are shunted by a 10 000-ohm resistance, 04 > however, and m = 1 on the basis of an effective backward resistance of 10 000 ohms, then the loss varies from 1 76 to 2 6 db, i.e. by 0 84 db. That is to say, a good stability against replacement of rectifiers 1 2 5 K > 20 50 100 is obtained in the condition that also gives good all-round P stability in the normal respects. Fig. 19.Relation between optimum value of mo and^, for n% = 100. (9.4) The Calculation of Carrier Leak in a Ring Modulator condition for maximum stability only when p = 1. As p inIt is here assumed, as discussed in Section 3.2.1, that the concreases, the stability condition can be met only at the expense stant resistance Ro is made equal in all four rectifiers by some of efficiency. It is useful to make a comparison of two modu- process of selection or balancing. The index coefficient qx is lators, one designed for maximum efficiency and one for also assumed equal for all, so that k^ is the only variable paramaximum stability in respect of temperature. Take p = 9, meter. The transformer resistances are neglected. assume Zx changes from 100 to 102, and Z from 10 000 to Since we are dealing only with the d.c. resistance, it is con11 800. Thus nl = 100, n\ = 116. venient, for the purposes of this Appendix only, to omit the subscript 1 which has hitherto been used to signify the d.c. resistance parameter. Thus k will signify the d.c. resistance in Maximum Maximumtemperaturegeneral, and then ku k2, k3, and k4 can be used to indicate the efficiency stability values appropriate to rectifiers Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, counted round modulator modulator the ring, starting with the uppermost one in the circuit diagrams. m0 10 0-241 Let z'i be the current in one half of the output transformer m\ 0-9 0-219 due to the currents in rectifiers Nos. 1 and 2. Let i2 be the Loss* of modulator initially l-74db 3-30 db current in the other half due to the currents in rectifiers Nos. 3 Loss after change 3-30 db 1 61 db Variation of loss 0 013db and 4. Variation of loss due to 10% change of circuit impedance
0

0-22 db

Then and Thus the carrier leak, or unbalance current = /j /2. The carrier voltage V across the rectifiers can be calculated with sufficient accuracy by assuming all four rectifiers have the average value of resistance Ro + kQy. The method of calculation was shown in a previous paper,1 and consists in solving graphically the equation _, where a = i? + k2. b = 2i?ofca + b cosh qV

Thus, in this case, a variation of temperature (about 7 deg C with a typical rectifier) giving A = 002, gives 0-13 db variation in loss in an efficient modulator, or zero variation at the expense of 1 6 db loss. Stability against variations of circuit impedance (which may represent a frequency-response) and against changes of carrier voltage is greatest in the condition of maximum efficiency. It is clear that in practice the choice of m is a matter of compromise. Provided that a loss of efficiency can be tolerated, it is possible to make a modulator of maximum all-round stability by shunting each of the rectifiers with a stable resistance such that the variations in effective backward resistance are the same (proportionally) as those in the forward resistance. Then, effectively, p = 1, so that the design using m0 = 1 (on the basis of the modified rectifier resistances) is simultaneously the most stable in all respects. It is possible for the resistance shunt to compensate largely for variation from one rectifier to another as well as for temperature, because the ratio of variation in the backward to that in the forward resistance is found, in practice,
* This loss is, of course, the loss of efficiency as compared with an ideal switch of Z* 0, Zy oo, i.e. in the sense of Appendix 9.1.

c = Rl + k* + 4RcR0. d=2k(R0+2Rc).
Rc = resistance of carrier generator. Em = peak e.m.f. of carrier generator. coc = angular frequency of carrier generator. Thus the carrier leak can be plotted in terms of the angular value o)ct, i.e. effectively as a time-function.